Health Concern

YMCA Camp Onyahsa COVID-19 Statement

Dear Camp Onyahsa Parents, Guardians, and Staff:

The safety, health and happiness of our campers and staff is our highest. As you know, the novel Corona virus (COVID-19) has spread widely, prompting quarantines and other measures worldwide.  No cases have yet been diagnosed in our region, but we expect this situation to change in the coming weeks and months. 

The situation at present, is very fluid, with the possible shift from containment to mitigation strategies and the likelihood of the viral illness’ dissipation the in warmer and more humid months yet unknown. Research thus far on the current strains has shown the disease to be less virulent among young people unless there are other underlying health conditions. 

Here is what we do know:  

Your and your child’s wellbeing at Camp Onyahsa is our paramount concern.  We also do not want campers to bring an illness home, especially to older family members or those with underlying health conditions. 

Because the program operates within a close community, Onyahsa already has a communicable disease plan in-place. Campers have long experienced a health screening, including the taking of bodily temperature by our Health Staff, soon after arrival at Onyahsa, and during mid-week of each session.  This process and procedures will be actively reviewed and heightened in light of the COVID-19 disease. 

We employ an experienced Registered Nurse for each summer session, who is in communication with our off-site Camp physician as needed.  

The Camp will increase the sanitization of hard surfaces that are commonly touched. Hand sanitizer and facial tissues/appropriate trash receptacles will be available in all residential and program areas. 

The program will stress proper hygiene (ie. sneezing/coughing into a tissue, avoiding unnecessary physical contact with others, washing/sanitizing hands properly, and avoiding the touching of one’s own eyes, nose, and mouth, etc.)  

We are an American Camp Association accredited program, and will rely on this national organization’s guidance with respect to Best Practices in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

We operate under provision of the New York State Department of Health, and will heed its mandates and guidelines with respect to this outbreak and other health or safety concerns.  

We will follow federal guidelines as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC), and will monitor this information daily.  

We will not offer camping sessions if ordered to do so by local, State, or federal authorities.  

In the case of a cessation of operations, we will communicate this status to all camper families as soon as reasonably possible.  Full refunds will be provided (without the Camp’s claim to deposits) for: 

Any cancelled session.

  • For any participant who is ill (for any illness). This has always been our policy.
  • For any participant who has been in close contact with an individual(s) who have recently (within the previous month) been communicably ill.

Participants (campers or staff) who have recently traveled abroad or who have otherwise spent time in a CDC-Level 3 Zone (Travel Health Notice for widespread/ongoing transmission) must refrain from attending Camp for three weeks prior arrival at Onyahsa.  A question to this effect will be asked of all 2020 summer participants.  

Participants who lose an opportunity to attend Onyahsa due to a COVID-19 mandated closure of the program will have the first opportunity to attend Onyahsa’s next available programs. 

In the event of summer program cancellation, we have plans to offer additional fall and winter programs and to provide current Camp participants access to special online content to remain at least virtually connected to the Onyahsa community.  

We will continue to keep you updated with information and policies as the summer situation comes to be better understood.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact the Camp Director at (716) 664-2802 ext. 228 or via if you have questions or concerns.  We also refer you to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:  

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work together to provide a safe, happy, and healthy experience for our Onyahsa participants.  


Jon O’Brian, Camp Director

YMCA Camp Onyahsa